Draft plan: 25K people for Truckee in 2025
Truckee’s future is more homes, more shops and, yes, more roundabouts.
The draft 2025 General Plan, released by the Town of Truckee on Tuesday, paints a picture of what Truckee will look like in 19 years.
The General Plan is Truckee’s guide for long-term growth and change, establishing policies on everything from traffic and development to noise and safety.
Truckee will swell to a population of 25,280 by 2025, according to the town document. Those residents will be housed in 17,800 homes.
But making those population projections are more of an art than a science, said Truckee Town Planner Duane Hall, who has overseen the writing of the General Plan.
“If people are shocked by those numbers it is because we are using very aggressive growth-rate numbers,” Hall said.
The plan projects that Truckee will grow at a rate of 2 percent each year, Hall said.
By 2025, 90 percent of the allowable residential units, under current zoning, will be built, according to the plan. Almost 100 percent of the commercial and industrial building will be complete, said Hall.
Pat Davison, executive director of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe, said her board and members will be reviewing the General Plan and soon develop a position.
She said she is interested in how the town will handle the period before the new plan’s adoption. The Truckee Town Council will discuss how to deal with projects that are caught between the two different plans at their Thursday meeting.
“We are … watching how the town will handle development applications that are in the pipeline,” Davison said. “Delays are always costly, but the public process is also important and you have to find a balance.”
During the next 20 years Truckee will not focus solely on development, said Hall.
The general plan includes aggressive policies for preserving open, undeveloped land.
“There are more direct policies on acquiring and managing open space,” he said.
According to the draft, the town will focus on purchasing parks, pristine land, scenic areas and parcels that connect two tracts of open space.
These policies will be guided by a yet-to-be-formed open space committee and an upcoming Open Space Acquisition and Management Plan.
The plan will determine how the town will fund open space purchases, Hall said.
The town’s conservation efforts will also focus on the Truckee River, keeping development back 100 feet from the river’s floodplain and enhancing degraded areas along the river’s banks.
John Eaton, president of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation said he was heartened by the plan’s open space policies. He said open space efforts and affordable housing projects should work together.
“In most cases the land is good for one or good for the other,” said Eaton, who is on the town’s affordable housing working group.
With a population projected to rise to over 25,000 in 20 years, the undeveloped land will help preserve the character of town, he said.
“The open space is our wealth and our capital,” Eaton said.
But affordable housing will preserve Truckee’s character also, he said, ensuring that Truckee grows as a community and not a weekend getaway.
“If we have a population of 25,000 visitors we will not be an attractive town,” he said.
Truckee has committed to roundabouts as the preferred way to manage intersections in town, and the town reiterates that commitment in the draft general plan.
Roundabouts will be used instead of erecting new stoplights, and stoplights may even be changed out in favor of roundabouts. By 2025 Truckee could be known as the “roundabout town,” Hall said.
The differences between the 1996 plan and the updated draft are not ground breaking, Hall said.
Many changes were simply strengthening or refining past policies. For example, the affordable housing policies have been significantly strengthened in the housing element the town adopted ahead of the rest of the General Plan.
“I think we are continuing with the path we set in the 1996 General Plan in that we are managing residential, commercial and industrial growth,” Hall said.
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